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From top left: Palace of Culture o Vasile Alecsandri Statue in front of the National Theatre o Alexandru Ioan Cuza University o Golia Tower o Metropolitan Cathedral o Botanical Garden
The Cultural Capital of Romania, The City of Great Loves, The City of the Famous Destinies, The City of Great Ideas, The City of the Three Unions, The City on Seven Hills[1][2][3][4]
Location of Ia?i and its metropolitan area in Ia?i County
Location of Ia?i and its metropolitan area in Ia?i County
Ia?i is located in Romania
Location in Romania
Coordinates: 47°09?25?N 27°35?25?E / 47.15694°N 27.59028°E / 47.15694; 27.59028Coordinates: 47°09?25?N 27°35?25?E / 47.15694°N 27.59028°E / 47.15694; 27.59028
Country Romania
CountyActual Iasi county CoA.svg Ia?i
SettledBefore 14th century
First official record1408
 o Mayor (2020–2024)Mihai Chirica[5] (PNL)
 o County Seat93.9 km2 (36.3 sq mi)
 o Metro
1,159 km2 (447 sq mi)
60 m (200 ft)
 o County Seat290,422
 o Estimate 
378,954 Increase
 o Density3,092/km2 (8,010/sq mi)
 o Metro
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
Postal Code
Area code(s)+40 x32
Car PlatesIS

Ia?i ( YASH-ee,[8] YAHSH(-ee),[9][10] Romanian: ['ja] ), also referred to mostly historically as Jassy[11][12] ( YASS-ee,[13] YAH-see[10][14]), is the second largest city in Romania[15] and the seat of Ia?i County. Located in the historical region of Moldavia, it has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life. The city was the capital of the Principality of Moldavia from 1564 to 1859, then of the United Principalities from 1859 to 1862, and the capital of Romania from 1916 to 1918.

Known as the Cultural Capital of Romania, Ia?i is a symbol of Romanian history. Historian Nicolae Iorga stated that "there should be no Romanian who does not know of it".[16] Still referred to as "The Moldavian Capital", Ia?i is the main economic and business centre of Romania's Moldavian region.[17] In December 2018, Ia?i was officially declared the Historical Capital of Romania.[18]

At the 2011 census, the city-proper had a population of 290,422 (making it the fourth most populous in Romania at the time). Counting 500,668 residents as of 2018, the Ia?i urban area is the second most populous in Romania after Bucharest,[6] whereas more than 500,000 people live within its peri-urban area.[7][19]

Home to the oldest Romanian university and to the first engineering school, Ia?i is one of the most important education and research centres of the country, accommodating over 60,000 students in five public universities.[20][21] The social and cultural life revolves around the Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre (the oldest in Romania), the Moldova State Philharmonic, the Opera House, the Ia?i Athenaeum, the Botanical Garden (the oldest and largest in Romania), the Central University Library (the oldest in Romania), the cultural centres and festivals, an array of museums, memorial houses, religious and historical monuments. The city is also known as the site of the largest Romanian pilgrimage which takes place every year, in October.[22]

Etymology and names

Historical names in various languages
  • Arabic//? ("Yassy/Iashy/Yashy")
  • Bulgarian? (Yash)
  • English: Jassy
  • French: Iassy
  • German: Jassy, Jassenmarkt, Jasmarkt
  • Greek? (Iásio)
  • Hebrew (Iasi) or ? (ia?i).
  • Hungarian: Jászvásár
  • Italian: Iassi
  • Persian: Y?s
  • Polish: Jassy
  • Russian (Yassy)
  • Serbian: ? or Ja?i
  • Turkish: Ya?
  • Ukrainian, - also, , ? (Yassy, Yasy)
  • Yiddish: (Yas)
An 1871 Romanian telegraph stamp, using the historic name of Jassy

Scholars have different theories on the origin of the name "Ia?i".[23] Some argue that the name originates with the Sarmatian tribe Iazyges (of Iranian origin), one mentioned by Ovid as Latin: "Ipse vides onerata ferox ut ducata Iasyx/ Per media Histri plaustra bubulcus aquas" and "Iazyges et Colchi Metereaque turba Getaque/ Danubii mediis vix prohibentur aquis".[24]

A now lost inscription on a Roman milestone[25] found near Osijek, Croatia by Matija Petar Katan?i? in the 18th century, mentions the existence of a Jassiorum municipium,[26] or Municipium Dacorum-Iassiorum from other sources.[27]

Other explanations show that the name originated from the Iranian Alanic tribe of Jassi, having the same origin with the Yazyges tribes Jassic people. In medieval times the Prut river was known as Alanus fluvius and the city as Forum Philistinorum.[28][29][30] From this population derived the plural of the town name, "Ia?ii".

Another historian wrote that the Iasians lived among the Cumans and that they left the Caucasus after the first Mongolian campaign in the West, settling temporarily near the Prut. He asserts that the ethnic name of Jasz which is given to the Iasians by the Hungarians has been erroneously identified with the Jazyges; also he shows that the word jasz is a Slavic loan word.[31] The Hungarian name of the city (Jászvásár) literally means "Jassic Market"; the antiquated Romanian name, Târgul Ie?ilor (and the once-favoured Ia?ii), and the German Jassenmarkt, may indicate the same meaning.


Coat of arms of the Principality of Moldavia at Cetuia Monastery
Historical affiliations

Ancient times

Archaeological investigations attest to the presence of human communities on the present territory of the city and around it as far back as the prehistoric age.[27] Later settlements included those of the Cucuteni-Trypillia culture, a late Neolithic archaeological culture.

There is archaeological evidence of human settlements in the area of Ia?i dating from the 6th to 7th centuries (Curtea Domneasc?) and 7th to 10th centuries; these settlements contained rectangular houses with semicircular ovens.[32] Also, many of the vessels (9th-11th centuries) found in Ia?i had a cross, potentially indicating that the inhabitants were Christians.[33]

Early development

In 1396, Ia?i is mentioned by the German crusader Johann Schiltberger (a participant in the Battle of Nicopolis).[34] The name of the city is first found in an official document in 1408. This is a grant of certain commercial privileges by the Moldavian Prince Alexander to the Polish merchants of Lvov. However, as buildings older than 1408 still exist, e.g. the Armenian Church believed to be originally built in 1395, it is certain that the city existed before its first surviving written mention.

Capital of Moldavia

Around 1564, Prince Alexandru L?pu?neanu moved the Moldavian capital from Suceava to Ia?i. Between 1561 and 1563, a school and a Lutheran church were founded by the Greek adventurer Prince, Ioan Iacob Heraclid.

Ia?i in the 1700s

In 1640, Vasile Lupu established the first school in which the Romanian language replaced Greek, and set up a printing press in the Byzantine Trei Ierarhi Monastery (Monastery of the Three Hierarchs; built 1635-39). Between 15 September - 27 October 1642, the city hosted the Synod of Ia?i (also referred to as the Synod of Jassy).[35] In 1643, the first volume ever printed in Moldavia was published in Ia?i.

The city was often burned down and looted by the Tatars (in 1513, 1574, 1577, 1593), by the Ottomans in 1538, the Cossacks and Tartars (1650), or the Poles (1620, 1686).[36] In 1734, it was hit by the plague. The city was also affected by famine (1575, 1724, 1739-1740), or large local fires (1725, 1735, 1753, 1766, 1785), propagated by many buildings that were built on wooden structures.[36]

It was through the Treaty of Jassy that the sixth Russo-Turkish War was brought to a close in 1792. A Greek revolutionary manoeuvre and occupation under Alexander Ypsilanti (? ) and the Filiki Eteria ( ?) (1821, at the beginning of the Greek War of Independence) led to the storming of the city by the Turks in 1822. In 1844 a severe fire affected much of the city.

Mid-19th century to 20th century

Al. L?pu?neanu Street
Union Square

Between 1564 and 1859, the city was the capital of Moldavia; then, between 1859 and 1862, both Ia?i and Bucharest were de facto capitals of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. In 1862, when the union of the two principalities was recognised under the name of Romania, the national capital was established in Bucharest. For the loss caused to the city in 1861 by the removal of the seat of government to Bucharest the constituent assembly voted 148,150 lei to be paid in ten annual instalments, but no payment was ever made.[]

During World War I, Ia?i was the capital of a much reduced Romania for two years, following the Central Powers' occupation of Bucharest on 6 December 1916. The capital was returned to Bucharest after the defeat of Imperial Germany and its allies in November 1918. In November-December 1918 Ia?i hosted the Ia?i Conference.

The first Zionist Hebrew language newspaper in Romania, Emek Israel, was published in Ia?i in 1882. Zionist sports clubs, student associations and discussion groups were established in the city, most of which later merged into the Organiza?ia Sionist?. The Hachshara Farms in Ia?i were a type of training farms to prepare young people for resettlement in the Palestine region.[37]

Jewish community

Ia?i also figures prominently in Jewish history, with the first documented presence of Sephardi Jews from the late 16th century. The oldest tomb inscription in the local cemetery probably dates to 1610.[38] By the mid-19th century, owing to widespread Russian Jewish and Galician Jewish immigration into Moldavia, the city was at least one-third Jewish, growing to 50% Jewish by 1899 according to the Great Geographic Dictionary of Romania cited by JewishGen.[39]

In 1855, Ia?i was the home of the first-ever Yiddish-language newspaper, Korot Haitim, and, in 1876, the site of what was arguably the first-ever professional Yiddish theatre performance, established by Avraham Goldfaden. The words of HaTikvah, the national anthem of Israel, were written in Ia?i by Naftali Herz Imber. Jewish musicians in Ia?i played an important role as preservers of Yiddish folklore, as performers and composers.

According to the 1930 census, with a population of 34,662 (some 34% of the city's population), Jews were the second largest ethnic group in Ia?i. There were over 127 synagogues. After World War II, in 1947, there were about 38,000 Jews living in Ia?i. Because of massive emigration to Israel, in 1975 there were about 3,000 Jews living in Ia?i and four synagogues were active.[38]

Currently, Ia?i has a dwindling Jewish population of ca. 300 to 600 members and two working synagogues, one of which, the 1671 Great Synagogue, is the oldest surviving synagogue in Romania and among the oldest synagogues still active in Europe. A 10-year restoration project funded by UNESCO, the Romanian Ministry of Culture and the local authorities of Ia?i restored it to its former glory, opening in time for Hanukkah on 4 December 2018.[40][41]

World War II

During the war, while the full scale of the Holocaust remained generally unknown to the Allied Powers, the Ia?i pogrom stood as one of the known examples of Axis brutality toward the Jews. The pogrom lasted from 29 June to 6 July 1941, and over 13,266 people,[42] or one third of the Jewish population, were massacred in the pogrom itself or in its aftermath, and many were deported. Particularly brutal was the massacre of Jews who were forced on sealed trains in the brutal summer heat. Over half of the occupants perished in these trains, which were aimlessly driven throughout the countryside with no particular destination.

In May 1944, the Ia?i area became the scene of ferocious fighting between Romanian-German forces and the advancing Soviet Red Army and the city was partially destroyed. The German Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland won a defensive victory at the Battle of Târgu Frumos, near Ia?i, which was the object of several NATO studies during the Cold War. By 20 August, Ia?i had been taken by Soviet forces.[43]

Ia?i suffered heavy damage due to Soviet (June-July 1941, June 1944) and American (June 1944) airstrikes, respectively. The bombing of Soviet aviation and artillery on 20 August 1944, resulted in more than 5,000 civilian deaths and the destruction of two-thirds of the city.[44]

Post-World War II era

Ia?i experienced a major wave of industrialisation, in 1955-1989.[45] During this period of time, it received numerous migrants from rural regions, and the urban area expanded.[46] In the communist era, Ia?i saw a growth of 235% in population and 69% in area. The local systematization plans of the old city started in 1960 and continued in the 1970s and 1980s as part of the larger national systematization program; however, the urban planning was sometimes arbitrary and followed by dysfunctions.[47] By 1989, Ia?i had become highly industrialised, with 108,000 employees (representing 47% of the total workforce) active in 46 large state-owned enterprises, in various industries: machine building and heavy equipment, chemical, textile, pharmaceutical, metallurgical, electronics, food, energy, building materials, furniture.[48][49]

After the end of communist rule and the transition to a free market economy, the private sector has grown steadily, while much of the old industry gradually decayed.



Panoramic view of the Copou Hill

Located in the North-East of Romania, at the contact between the Jijia Plain and the Bârlad Plateau, Ia?i used to be the crossroads place of the historic trade routes that passed through Moldavia coming from the Kingdom of Poland, Habsburg Monarchy, Tsardom of Russia, and Constantinople.

The city lies on the Bahlui River valley, a tributary of the Jijia River (tributary of the Prut River). The surrounding country is one of uplands and woods, featuring monasteries and parks. Ia?i itself stands amid vineyards and gardens, partly on hills, partly in the in-between valley.

The central part of the city is located on the 25 m (82 ft) fluvial terrace of the Bahlui River (the so-called Palat Terrace).[50] From this nucleus, the city evolved after the medieval times toward south and north on the Bahlui River floodplain and on the adjacent hills. The southern part of the city lies on the Ia?i Ridge (Romanian: Coasta Ia?ilor) (the northernmost hill of the Bârlad Plateau). Considering the present day extension of the administrative boundaries, the city territory has an altitudinal extension of 320 m (1,050 ft), between the 34.5 m a.s.l. (113.19 ft) in the Bahlui River floodplain, at the Holboca bridge, and 354.77 m a.s.l. (1,163.94 ft), at the edge of the Repedea Hill.

It is a common belief that Ia?i is built on seven hills (Romanian: coline): Breazu, Bucium, Cetuia, Copou, Galata, Repedea and ?orogari, thus triggering comparisons with Rome.


Climate data for Ia?i, Romania (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.7
Average high °C (°F) 1.1
Daily mean °C (°F) -2.3
Average low °C (°F) -5.2
Record low °C (°F) -30.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 27.9
Average snowfall cm (inches) 11.3
Average precipitation days 12.6 11.2 11.6 11.4 12.1 12.3 11.0 8.5 8.7 8.1 10.1 12.6 130.2
Average relative humidity (%) 82 80 71 62 61 62 60 63 66 73 79 83 70
Mean monthly sunshine hours 67 91 136 180 256 260 288 275 200 153 79 61 2,046
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization,[51] Ogimet (mean temperatures and sun 1981-2010)[52]
Source 2: Romanian National Statistic Institute (extremes 1901-2000),[53] NOAA (sunshine and snowfall 1961-1990),[54] Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes, 1896-2015 and humidity, 1896-1960)[55]

Ia?i has a humid, continental-type climate (Köppen climate classification "Dfb" -- summer wetter than winter, European subtype) with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm with temperatures sometimes exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) while winters are cold and windy with moderate snowfall and temperatures at night sometimes dropping below -15 °C (5 °F). Average monthly precipitation ranges from about 25 mm (1.0 in) in October to 100 mm (3.9 in)in June.



The neo-Gothic Palace of Culture, built on the old ruins of the mediaeval Princely Court is a reconstruction of the former neoclassical Princely Palace of Moldavia
Grand Hotel Traian (Union Square), designed and built by Gustave Eiffel

Ia?i features historical monuments, 500-year-old churches and monasteries, contemporary architecture, many of them listed on the National Register of Historic Monuments. Notable architecture includes the Trei Ierarhi Monastery, part of the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the neo-Gothic Palace of Culture, built on the old ruins of the mediaeval Princely Court of Moldavia.

During World War II and the Communist era many historical buildings in the old city centre (around Union Square area) were destroyed or demolished, and replaced by International style buildings and also a new mainly Mid-Century modern style Civic Centre was built around the Old Market Square (The Central Hall).[45]

The mid-1990s to early-2000s brought the first non-industrial glass curtain walled buildings (Romtelecom, Hotel Europa), while in 2012, in close proximity to the Palace of Culture, the Palas shopping mall and office complex was inaugurated.

Communist era Central Hall Square
Cuza Palace, now the Union Museum

Other significant buildings include:

Religious buildings

Ia?i is the seat of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina, and of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ia?i. The city and the surrounding area house more than 10 monasteries and 100 historical churches.[56] Among the oldest is Princely Saint Nicholas (1491), dating from the reign of Stephen the Great, and the Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest of its kind in Romania. The Trei Ierarhi Monastery, a unique monument, considered to be an architectural masterpiece,[57] was erected in 1635-1639 by Vasile Lupu, and adorned with gilded carvings on its outer walls and twin towers.

Other examples of historic churches and monasteries (some of them surrounded by defence walls and towers) include: Socola (1562), Galata (1582), Saint Sava (1583), Hlincea (1587), Aroneanu (1594), Bârnova (1603), Barnovschi (1627), Golia (1650), Cetuia (1668), Frumoasa (1726), Saint Spiridon (1747), Old Metropolitan Cathedral (1761), B?rboi (1843 with 18th-century bell tower), Bucium (1853).[58]


The city has become a major Christian pilgrimage site since the early modern period. In 1641, the relics of Saint Parascheva were brought to Ia?i. Each year, around 14 October, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gather to commemorate Saint Parascheva, while the city itself established its Celebration Days at the same time.[59] The October pilgrimage is one of the largest in Europe, drawing people all over Romania as well as from neighboring Orthodox countries.[22]

During the entire year, pilgrimages to Ia?i can also involve visits to a large number of religious sites, both within and around the city.

Gardens, parks and natural landmarks

Ciric Park

Ia?i has a diverse array of public spaces, from city squares to public parks.

Mihai Eminescu's statue and his Linden Tree in Copou Park

Begun in 1833, at the time when Ia?i was the capital of Moldavia, by Prince Mihail Sturdza and under the plans of Gheorghe Asachi and Mihail Singurov, Copou Park was integrated into the city and marks one of the first Romanian coordinated public parks. The oldest monument in Romania stands in the middle of the park, the Obelisk of Lions (1834), a 13.5 m (44.29 ft) tall obelisk, dedicated to the Regulamentul Organic, the first law on political, administrative and juridical organisation in Romanian Principalities.[60]

Founded in 1856, the Botanical Garden of Ia?i, the first botanical garden in Romania, has an area of over 100 hectares, and more than 10,000 species of plants.

Ia?i Exhibition Park was opened in 1923 and built under the co-ordination of the architect N. Ghica Bude?ti.

The Ciric Park, located in the north-eastern part of Ia?i, consists of parkland and four lakes.

Eminescu's Linden Tree (Romanian: Teiul lui Eminescu) is a 500-year-old silver linden (Tilia tomentosa Moench) situated in Copou Park. Mihai Eminescu reportedly wrote some of his best works underneath this linden tree, rendering it one of Romania's most important natural monuments and a notable Ia?i landmark.[61] The Odd Poplers Alley, in Bucium neighbourhood, is another spot where Mihai Eminescu sought inspiration (the poem "Down Where the Lonely Poplars Grow"). In 1973, the 15 white poplars still left (with the age ranges between 233 and 371 years) were declared natural monuments.

Ia?i County has 387 centuries-old trees, of which 224 were declared monument trees and 160 got the Romanian Academy's approval and are proposed for such a classification. Most of them are oak or linden trees. The oldest tree in the county is the 675-year-old hybrid linden (Tilia) tree located in the courtyard of Bârnova Monastery, in the vicinity of Ia?i. When the linden was about 57 years old and about 14 cm (5.5 in) in diameter, Ia?i was mentioned as an urban settlement, during the reign of Prince Alexander the Good (1408).[62]


Roznovanu Palace, today Ia?i City Hall

As of 1 January 2016, Ia?i is the country's second most populous city after Bucharest with 378,954 residents registered within the city limits,[6] and with a population of 500,668 residents, the Ia?i urban area is also the second largest in Romania.[6]

At the 2011 census, Ia?i was the fourth most populous Romanian city with a population of 290,422.[7] The metropolitan area association (which includes Ia?i and 19 other nearby communities) had a population of 403,572, while Ia?i County, with its 772,348 inhabitants, was the most populous county in Romania (after the Municipality of Bucharest). Additionally there were 60,000 more residents (mostly students) and thousands of daily commuters.

According to the 2002 census, in Ia?i there were 109,357 housing units and 320,888 people living within the city proper. Of this population, 98.5% were ethnic Romanians, while 0.59% were ethnic Romani, 0.13% Jews, 0.13% Greeks, 0.13% Lipovans, 0.08% Hungarians, 0.05% Germans and 0.39% others.[69] In terms of religion, 92.5% of the population were Christian Orthodox, 4.9% Roman Catholic, other religious groups 2.6%. There are currently almost 10,000 Roman Catholics living in Ia?i.[70] There is a debate between historians as to whether the Catholics are originally of Romanian or Hungarian descent.[71]


Palas commercial and business centre

Ia?i is an important economic centre in Romania. The local and regional economy relies on industry and service sector institutions and establishments. The most important service sectors are related to education, health care, banking, research, culture, government and tourism.

The city is an important information technology sector centre, with the presence of several large multinational companies (Amazon, Oracle, Continental, Conduent, Xerox, Accenture, Capgemini, SCC) and many other local and foreign companies such as Bentley Systems, Bitdefender, Comodo, Endava, Ness, Pentalog, or TiVo (to name a few),[72] as well as two universities which offer specific degree programs. Industry forecasts expect the Ia?i ITC workforce to grow from the current 16,000 (end of 2016) employees to more than 33,000, by 2030.[73]

An estimated workforce of more than 35,000 employees is active in Ia?i's industrial manufacturing sector,[74] particularly in automotive (Delphi, Lear, Conex Distribution), pharmaceutical industry (Antibiotice Ia?i, Fiterman Pharma, Ircon SRL), metallurgical production (ArcelorMittal, Technosteel LBR), aerospace (BMT Aerospace), industrial equipment (Agmus, ASAM, Fortus), energy (E.ON Moldova Distribu?ie, Veolia Energie), textiles and clothing (Benetton, Ia?i Conf, Ia?itex), home appliances (Tehnoton), building materials (Brikston, Build Corp), food (Compan, Panifcom, Zeelandia).[49][75]

Located in an area recognised for its vineyards and wines, Ia?i is part of a traditional wine region with viticultural centres surrounding the city: Copou, Bucium, Uricani, Comarna, Plugari, and Probota. Ia?i County is also home to renowned Cotnari and Bohotin vineyards.[76][77]

With large shopping malls and commercial centres located in the area, Ia?i also has a well-developed retail business.

Largest employers

Top 10 Employers
Company Industry Employees
Sf. Spiridon University Hospital Health care 2,944
BorgWarner Automotive industry 2,612
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University High education 2,021
Continental Automotive Romania Automotive engineering 2,000
Amazon Development Center IT services 1,956
Gheorghe Asachi Technical University High education 1,710
AlmavivA Services Customer services 1,486
Antibiotice Ia?i Pharmaceutical industry 1,415
CTP Ia?i Public transport 1,349
ApaVital Water industry 1,347


Politics and administration

The city's current local council has the following multi-party political composition, based on the results of the ballots cast at the 2020 Romanian local elections:[81]

    Party Seats Current Council
  National Liberal Party (PNL) 11                      
  Save Romania Union (USR) 9                      
  Social Democratic Party (PSD) 5                      
  People's Movement Party (PMP) 2                      


Pogor House, the Romanian Literature Museum
Alecu Bal? House, where Franz Liszt performed in 1847, nowadays Moldova State Philharmonic

Major events in the political and cultural history of Moldavia are connected with the name of the city of Ia?i. The great scholars of the 17th century, Grigore Ureche, Miron Costin and later Ion Neculce, wrote most of their works in the city or not far from it and the famous scholar Dimitrie Cantemir known throughout all Europe also linked his name to the capital of Moldavia.

The first newspaper in Romanian language was published in 1829 in Ia?i and it is in Ia?i where, in 1867, appeared under literary society Junimea, the Convorbiri Literare review in which Ion Creang?'s Childhood Memories and the best poems by Mihai Eminescu were published. The reviews Contemporanul and Via?a Româneasc? appeared in 1871, respectively in 1906 with great contributions to promoting Romanian national cultural values.

Many great personalities of Romanian culture are connected to Ia?i: the chronicler Nicolae Milescu, the historians and politicians Mihail Kog?lniceanu and Simion B?rnu?iu, the poets Vasile Alecsandri and George Topârceanu, the writers Mihail Sadoveanu, Alecu Russo, and Ionel Teodoreanu, the literary critic Titu Maiorescu, the historian A.D. Xenopol, the philosophers Vasile Conta and Petre Andrei, the sociologist Dimitrie Gusti, the geographer Emil Racovi and the painter Octav B?ncil?, only to name a few.

Theatres and orchestras

The Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre, opened in 1840, is the first National Theatre in Romania. The building, designed according to the plans of the Viennese architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner, was raised between 1894 and 1896, and also hosts, starting 1956, the Ia?i Romanian National Opera.

Ia?i is also home to:


Ion Creang? Memorial House
Mihai Codreanu Memorial House

Ia?i is home to many museums, memorial houses, art galleries.
First memorial museum from Romania opened in Ia?i in 1918, as the Ion Creang? Memorial House, and today the Ia?i National Museum of Romanian Literature owns several memorial houses and museums. The Mihai Eminescu Museum, situated in Copou Park, is dedicated to the great poet's life and creation; other museums are dedicated to: Dosoftei, Mihail Kog?lniceanu, Vasile Alecsandri, Mihai Codreanu, Vasile Pogor, Otilia Cazimir, Mihail Sadoveanu, George Topîrceanu, Nicolae Gane, Constantin Negruzzi, Garabet Ibr?ileanu, Ionel Teodoreanu, Petru Poni, Radu Cern?tescu [ro], Cezar Petrescu, Dimitrie Anghel.

The Theatre Museum [ro], opened in 1976 at the celebration of 160 years since the first theatrical performance in Romanian, illustrates the development of the theatrical phenomenon since the beginning, important moments of the history of Ia?i National Theatre, the foundation, in 1840, of the Philharmonic-dramatic Conservatoire, prestigious figures that have contributed to the development of the Romanian theatre.

The Union Museum [ro], includes original pieces and documents which belonged to prince Al. I. Cuza and his family.

The Natural History Museum [ro], founded on 4 February 1834, is the first museum of this kind in Romania with over 300,000 items, the most valuable being the collections of insects, mollusc, amphibians, reptiles, birds, plants and minerals.

Four other museums are located in the Palace of Culture: with its roots dating back to 1860, the Ia?i Art Museum is the oldest of its kind in Romania,[82] and, with more than 8,700 works (many of them belonging to the universal patrimony), has the largest art collection in the country; the Moldavia's History Museum, offers more than 48,000 objects from various fields, archaeology, numismatics, decorative art, ancient books, documents; the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia owns more than 13,000 objects depicting the Romanian advance through the ages; the Science and Technology Museum's collection has more than 11,200 objects in five distinct sections and one memorial house.[83]

In May 2016, the Ia?i Municipal Museum [ro] was re-established, while in July 2021 four new museums, located in the House of Museums, were opened to the public: the Museum of Ia?i Pogrom, the Museum of the Jewish Theatre in Romania, the Museum of Poetry, and the Museum of Childhood under Communism.[84]

Foreign culture centres

French Institute in Ia?i

Ia?i hosts six cultural centres: French, German, British, Latin American & Caribbean, Hellenic, and Arab.

Cultural events and festivals

  • FILIT (International Festival of Literature and Translation) is a yearly literature and translation festival organised through the Ia?i Museum of Romanian Literature, begun in 2013;
  • FIE (International Education Festival), launched in 2013, is a mix of cultural and educative events;
  • International Theatre Festival for Young Audience was launched in 2008 and it is hosted each October by Luceaf?rul Theatre;
  • Since 2010 at SFR(Romanian Film Nights) are presented films from different periods of Romanian cinema, as well as new films, debut films or short films, with the invitation of actors, directors, scriptwriters and film critics in the projection;
  • Started in 2017, Afterhills is the biggest music festival in Moldavia. Other music festivals: Rock'n'Ia?i since 2007 and Rocanotherworld since 2016.
  • Hangariada is an aeronautics and art festival organised each year in May;

Live music and different other artistic events (poetry nights, readings) are a habitual occurrence in the various bars and coffee shops the city has to offer.


The first institute of higher learning that functioned on the territory of Romania was Academia Vasilian? (1640) founded by Prince Vasile Lupu as a "higher school for Latin and Slavonic languages", followed by the Princely Academy in 1707.

The first high education structure in Romanian language was established in the autumn of 1813, when engineer Gheorghe Asachi laid the foundations of a class of engineers, its activities taking place within the Greek Princely Academy.

After 1813, other moments marked the development of higher education in Romanian language, regarding both humanities and the technical science. In 1835, Academia Mih?ilean? founded by Prince Mihail Sturdza is considered first Romanian superior institute in the country.

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Gheorghe Asachi Technical University

In 1860, three faculties part of the Academia Mih?ilean? formed the nucleus for the newly established University of Ia?i, the first Romanian university.

The Physicians and Naturalists Society, founded in Ia?i, has existed since the early part of the 19th century, and a number of periodicals are published. One of the oldest medical universities in Romania, founded in 1879, is located in Ia?i. It is now known as the Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

In 1937, the two applied science sections of the University of Ia?i became departments of the newly created Gheorghe Asachi Polytechnic School. In the period before and after World War II, the later (renamed Polytechnic Institute in 1948) extended its domain of activity, especially in the field of engineering, and became known as Gheorghe Asachi Technical University in 1993.

Public universities include:

There are also some private higher education institutions including Petre Andrei University, the largest private university in the historical region of Moldavia.[85]

The Central University Library of Ia?i, where the chief records of Romanian history are preserved, is the oldest and the second largest in Romania.

As of 2016, Ia?i has 74 public schools, coordinated by the Ia?i County School Inspectorate. The city is also home to 19 private schools.[86]

Notable high schools:

Ia?i Science Festival is a week long festival organised every year in April (starting 2013) for high school and grade school students to get be able to observe and take part in scientific experiments and be given detailed tours of the scientific and technical universities and research labs in Ia?i. Over 200 experiments were performed and over 10,000 students took part in the 2014 edition, from throughout the Moldavia region.[87]



In 2012, Ia?i was selected as one of the European Cities of Sport.[88]

Current teams

Panorama of Emil Alexandrescu Stadium, home to the FC Politehnica
Sport League Club Founded Venue
Basketball Men's Divizia A Politehnica Ia?i Sala Polivalent?
Basketball Women's Divizia A Politehnica Na?ional Ia?i Sala Polivalent?
Football Liga I FC Politehnica Ia?i (2010) (as the informal successor to Politehnica Ia?i) 16 August 2010 Emil Alexandrescu Stadium
Handball Women's Liga Na?ional? Terom Ia?i Sala Polivalent?
Rugby SuperLiga Poli Agro Unirea Ia?i 1964 Agronomia Stadium
Volleyball Women's Divizia A2 ACS Penicilina Ia?i Sala Polivalent?

Former teams


Public transport

Ia?i's public transportation system is served by the CTP Ia?i (former RATP), which operates an extensive network using 126 trams (electric trams began operating in Ia?i in 1900) and 150 buses.[89] In 2014, CTP carried 50,358,000 passengers, an average of 140,000 passengers per day.[90]


Ia?i is served by the Ia?i International Airport (IAS) located 8 km (5.0 mi) east of the city centre. The airport is the 4th busiest in Romania and offers direct domestic, European, and Middle Eastern scheduled or charter connections. After extensive modernisation works, the number of connections and traffic volumes have seen a significant increase, in 2015.[91]


Ia?i-Pa?cani railway was opened on 1 June [O.S. 20 May] 1870, Ia?i-Ungheni on 1 August 1874 and Ia?i-Chi?in?u railway was opened on 1 June 1875 by the Russian Empire in preparation for the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878).

Nowadays, three railway stations, Grand Railway Station, Nicolina International Rail Station and Socola Rail Station serve the city and are operated by Romanian Railways (CFR). Moldovan railway also serves these stations for travel into Moldova.

The Grand Railway Station, located about 1 km (0.6 mi) from the city centre, provides direct rail connections to all the major Romanian cities and to Chi?in?u, Moldova. The rail stations are very well connected to all the parts of the city by the trams and buses of the local public transport companies.


Ia?i is connected by European routes E583/E85 with Bucharest through a four lane road, by European route E58 with Central Europe and Chi?in?u in Moldova, and by DN National Roads with all major cities of Romania. A planned East-West freeway would connect the city to the A3 Transylvania Motorway.

The Ia?i Coach Station is used by several private transport companies to provide coach connections from Ia?i to a large number of locations from all over the country.

Health care

Ia?i is home to 14 public hospitals, including the St. Spiridon Hospital, the second largest and one of the oldest in Romania (1755),[92] St. Maria Clinic Children's Hospital (one of the largest children's hospitals in the country), Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Regional Oncology Institute, and Socola Psychiatric Institute (1905 - first psychiatric hospital in Romania). The public system is complemented by numerous private clinics.

Air pollution concerns

Ia?i has the second-worse air quality in Romania, after Bucharest.[93] In 2014, the European Commission started environmental law infringement procedures against Romania, citing Bucharest, Ia?i, and Bra?ov cases as examples.[94] In 2015, atmospheric particulate matter has repeatedly reached and exceeded legal thresholds for PM10. Pollution from vehicular traffic, construction works, and a lack of green spaces (the city only has about 11 m2 (118 sq ft) of public green spaces per capita) make up some of the reasons behind these problems.[93]

Monuments and history

Twin towns/sister cities

Ia?i is twinned with:

Consulates in Ia?i

Honorary Consulates:

  • France
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Pakistan
  • Turkey


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External links

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